Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Topps Archives #162 Carlos Ruiz

Phillies 10, Padres 5
Thursday Night, September 12th in Philadelphia
Record - 68-78, 3rd Place, 20 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  A six-run first inning by the Phillies bailed out Roy Halladay, who suffered through another tough start.

What It Means:  Perhaps one of the bigger questions heading into the offseason is whether or not the Phillies will bring Halladay back.  The team holds an option on the former ace, but after 11 starts this season, he has a 7.28 ERA.  In his four starts since returning from shoulder surgery, he has a 5.06 ERA with 14 walks and 14 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.  He was chased in the fifth inning of this game after allowing four straight walks.

Is he a better option as a fourth starter (behind Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and presumably Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez) than Kyle Kendrick or Jonathan Pettibone or Tyler Cloyd?

What Went Right:  Cesar Hernandez, who has been a pleasant surprise in center field, and Carlos Ruiz both had three hit games.  After Halladay departed, the bullpen contributed 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Featured Card:  Ruiz has shown steady improvement throughout the season, and through this game going back to the beginning of August, he's hitting .348 (40 for 115) with four home runs, 20 RBIs and a .939 OPS.  It's looking more and more likely that Chooch will be back behind the plate in 2014, as there really aren't that many other options out there.  This is his 1990 Topps-style card from this year's Archives release.

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